Is Apple Card Worth It? 5 Things To Know in 2024

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Are you the type of person who is first in line for the latest and greatest Apple product?

You might be wondering if the Apple Card is worth adding to your wallet.

Apple Card Is Worth It to You If:

  • You make a significant amount of Apple product purchases. Having this card could really pay off if you’re buying iPhones, iPads and Mac products with regularity. The card offers 3% cash back on products you buy directly through Apple. It also offers interest-free financing options for select Apple products.
  • You use Apple Pay to make most of your purchases. If the Apple Pay function is your go-to choice at the register, you can get 2% back on every purchase you make with the card. Certain retailers also offer bonus cash back for using the Apple Card via Apple Pay. You’ll also get instant notifications for your transactions and cash back earnings via your Apple Wallet app.
  • You like titanium credit cards. Though you’ll likely only get 1% back on purchases made with the physical Apple Card, you will do it in style. And with extra security. The physical Apple Card is titanium (not plastic) and does not have credit card numbers printed on it.

In this article, we’ll help you decide if those perks are enough for you to choose this card over a cash back card that offers unlimited everyday rewards on all purchases.

We’ll give you five things to know about the Apple Card and help you determine if it is a better fit for your wallet than cards like the Citi Double Cash® Card or PayPal Cashback Mastercard®.


Table of Contents

Team Clark has spent time evaluating the credit card market in several categories including the best cash back credit cards. We’ve compared the Apple Card to the best cards in this segment of the market. And we’ve determined that this one is a viable choice — thanks to its bonus cash back categories and lack of an annual fee.

As you’re evaluating whether this card fits your needs, please use this review in conjunction with Clark Howard’s 7 Rules for Using Credit Cards.


What Is the Apple Card?

The Apple Card is a no-annual-fee cash back credit card that is issued by Goldman Sachs bank. The branded card is promoted as a way to connect your day-to-day purchases seamlessly with your iPhone or iPad.

The hook for this card is that you’ll earn 3% cash back on purchases made directly through Apple, which theoretically could yield a nice return on their premium-priced phones, computers and more. It also offers 3% cash back at select partner stores and websites. We’ll get into that a little more later.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to applying for this credit card is that you have to have an Apple ID to do it.

For Android loyalists, this probably brings you to a full stop on applying for this card.

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Apple will send you a physical credit card to use where Apple Pay is not accepted, but the goal of this card clearly is to get you comfortable with using an Apple device to buy and manage your purchases. You must use the wallet app on your iPhone or iPad to access the card and its payment, statement and redemption components.


Apple Card: 5 Things To Know

Let’s take a look at five things that could help you determine if the Apple Card is worth it for you.

1. Are the Cash Back Categories Valuable to You?

The cash back rewards for this card are tiered between 1% on everyday purchases all the way up to 3% on purchases made directly from select retailers.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

3% cash back rewards can be earned on Apple Pay purchases made directly through these brands on their websites/apps or at their stores:

  • Apple Store or Apple.com (This includes the App Store and Apple services.)
  • Panera Bread
  • Uber Eats
  • T-Mobile
  • Exxon or Mobil
  • Nike
  • Walgreens

2% cash back rewards can be earned on any purchase made with Apple Pay.

1% cash back rewards can be earned on non-Apple Pay purchases everywhere else.

2. You Can Get a Titanium Card With No Numbers

You read that right. Apple will issue you a titanium credit card (actual titanium, not plastic) that doesn’t have credit card numbers on it.

This card, which is the only non-Apple Pay way to spend, must be requested through the Apple wallet app on your iPhone.

Apple claims that this card “is more secure than other credit cards because it has no card numbers on it, CVV security code, expiration date, or signature on it.” Instead, your information is stored in the wallet app. So, if you lose the card and then quickly disable it, theoretically it would be useless to those with malicious intent.

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Note that you’re likely to only receive 1% cash back benefits with in-person purchases made with this card.

The Apple Card is made out of titanium.
Apple.com

3. Apple Offers Monthly Installment Payment Options on Its Products

If you’re looking for an introductory period with 0% APR on all new purchases or balance transfers, you’re going to be disappointed with the Apple Card. I couldn’t find any such offers.

However, I did uncover the option for select Apple Card customers to get 0% APR financing with monthly installment payments for some new purchases made on Apple products.

The Apple Card allows customer to pay for select purchases in monthly installments.
Apple.com

4. Occasionally You’ll Find a Welcome Bonus Opportunity

This card does not come with a standard welcome bonus offer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get something nice from Apple upon signing up.

Though the offers seem to come and go quickly, and they don’t offer big bucks, you can find a welcome bonus for the Apple Card from time to time.

For example, in the summer of 2020 Apple offered a $50 welcome bonus promotion for spending at Walgreens.

More recently, the offer was a  $75 welcome bonus to customers who spent money at Nike during the first 30 days of card membership.

Apple offered a welcome bonus to new card holders that made purchases at Nike.
Apple.com

5. Apple Is Big on Avoiding Cardholder Fees

The Apple Card doesn’t just stop at being a no annual fee credit card. It also helps cardholders avoid foreign and late payment fees.

Here’s a quick breakdown of where it stands on the common credit card fees:

  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A. The card doesn’t offer balance transfers.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: None, but Apple does say that “late or missed payments will result in additional interest accumulating toward your balance.”

Apple Card vs. Citi Double Cash® Card and PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

If you’re considering a cash back credit card, you’re likely looking for a card that is going to optimize your rewards based on your spending habits.

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To determine if the Apple Card is actually your best option, I compared this card to two likely suitable alternatives.

The Citi Double Cash® Card and PayPal Cashback Rewards card each offer unlimited 2% cash back on everyday purchases, and PayPal also allows for 3%.

Quick Comparison

Credit Card PerkApple CardCiti Double CashPayPal Cashback Mastercard
Annual Fee$0$0$0
Intro Period for 0% APR on Balance TransfersNoneYesNone
Cash Back Rewards3% on purchases at Apple and select retailers; 2% on purchases made with Apple Pay; 1% on all other purchasesUp to 2% unlimited (1% when you purchase, 1% when you pay for those purchases). To earn
cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
Earn 3% cash back on PayPal purchases and 2% on all other purchases
Cash Back Balance Redemption MinimumNo minimum$25No minimum
Cash Back Redemption MethodThrough Apple Wallet app as either Apple Cash credit or statement creditCheck, statement credit, credit to linked bank account, or credit card pointsRedeem via linked PayPal account
Intro Period for 0% APR on New PurchasesNoneNoneNone
Welcome Bonus OpportunityLimited time offers based on spending with partner retailersEarn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as
20,000 ThankYou(R) Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back
Targeted email offers only
Foreign Transaction FeesNone3%3%
Apple App RatingNot rated4.9 out of 54.8 out of 5
Google App RatingN/A4.6 out of 54.3 out of 5

Is The Apple Card Worth It? Spending Analysis

To really determine which card is for you, it’s probably best to do a quick analysis of your monthly spending habits to see how many 3% opportunities you’ll find with the Apple Card. And conversely, you should determine if your spending habits require you to use a physical credit card most of the time, because that would drop your Apple cash back rewards to 1%.

Since both the Citi and PayPal cards offer a straight 2% cash back, it should be pretty easy to arrive at an answer.

For example, let’s say you bought an iPhone through Apple once per year ($1,000) and paid your $100 wireless bill through T-Mobile with the card each month. Those are both 3% category purchases.

If you spend that $2,200 on an Apple Card, it would only net you $22 more than making the same purchases with the Citi card. And if you were able to make the iPhone purchase with PayPal as your payment method, you could get the same 3% back using that co-branded credit card.

In that scenario, if you spent more than $2,200 in physical card transactions throughout the year, you’d actually earn less total cash back with the Apple Card versus the two others. That’s because of the drop to 1% in cash back when you use the physical card.

Again, you’ll want to run your own spending analysis before moving forward with any of the card applications.

Clark Howard Prefers the Security of a “Locked” Cash Back Rate

If you don’t immediately see a clear benefit for using the Apple Card in your daily life, there’s a good chance you’ll be better served by a credit card that is not so heavily weighted on working within the confines of the Apple ecosystem.

Money expert Clark Howard prefers the certainty of an unlimited cash back credit card. He has both the Citi Double Cash and the Navy Federal cashRewards cards in his wallet. Each of those cards rewards all of his purchases with an unlimited 2% cash back without restriction.

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Clark says he views it as though he’s getting a 2% discount on everything he buys. And as an Android user, Clark does not have a need for the added Apple benefits this card offers.


Final Thoughts

So, is the Apple Card worth it? Let’s review some of the major pros and cons of the card before you make your final decision:

Apple Card: Pros and Cons

ProsCons
3% cash back opportunities at Apple and select other retailersAn Apple ID to apply for the credit card
2% cash back if you use Apple PayOnly 1% cash back on traditional credit card transactions
Very few fees for this card, including no annual feeThe welcome bonus offers are not great

Bottom Line: If you are the type of consumer who plans to make most of your daily purchases through a digital wallet like Apple Pay, you could expect to receive at least 2% cash back on many of your purchases with this card.

However, it is worth noting that there are other cards on the market, such as the Citi Double Cash and PayPal Cashback Mastercard, that already award you 2% cash back on all purchases without any restrictions.

For everyone but the most dedicated of Apple customers, it may make sense to simply rely on one of those cash back credit cards instead of cornering yourself into paying with your Apple digital wallet.

Do you have experience with the Apple Card? Let us know how you like it in the Clark.com community!

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